|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 3, 2000
NIEHS Contacts: |
Bill Grigg (301) 496-3511
Tom Hawkins (919) 541-1402
Environment Health Institute's Centers to Breed Mice with Human-Like Gene
that Modify Their Responses to Environmental Factors and the Repair of Damaged DNA
- Sequence mouse genes and compare them to human genes and their sequences,
- Produce mice with mutations or missing genes (so-called "knock-out"mice) and maintain breeding
colonies, supplying test rodents or breeding stock to other scientists as well.
- Develop and validate better systems for creating such mice.
- Develop and distribute cell lines.
NIEHS said that it could spend up to $5 million a year in grants under cooperative agreements with other
laboratories to create the centers and carry out the work, depending on the proposals from the competing
applicants and other factors.
NIEHS has already developed and tested some gene-manipulated mice for screening chemicals. In the Dec.
17, 1999 issue of the journal Science Institute scientists reported development of a mouse in which both
distribution systems or pathways for the female hormone estrogen are disrupted. The females of these
generally healthy, long-lived but estrogen-deprived mice were unable to produce viable ova, or eggs, and cells
in the adult female ovary changed to resemble the male cells of the testis.
In the past, NIEHS' studies of lead, asbestos, DES and some pesticide products have led to protective
measures that have prevented many human diseases. Today, while continuing such studies, NIEHS's scientists
have also pushed forward with molecular and genetic studies of the mechanisms by which environmental
factors cause disease and the genetic variability of humans' responses to the environment, both natural and
For the full Request for Applications announcement for the centers, contact Jose Velazquez, Ph.D., (919)
54l-4998 or e-mail: Velazqu1@niehs.nih.gov.